Monk: An Early Look at the Final Season - Featured

Monk returns to USA Network with its 8th season premiere this Friday at 9PM.

SideReel got to check out the premiere episode of Monk's 8th and final season, 'Mr. Monk's Favorite Show' early, and it's certainly is one of the most fun Monk episodes that has only made me more excited for what the rest of Monk's final season will bring!

In 'Mr. Monk's Favorite Show,' Monk is thrilled about child actress, Christine Rapp's book coming out telling all the tales about her time starring on Monk's favorite childhood show, "The Cooper Clan," a very Brady Bunch-like series.

In the premiere, Christine Rapp quickly becomes Monk's mystery of the week as it becomes clear that someone's trying to kill her. As the mystery unravels, so does Mr. Monk as he learns a little too much about his favorite childhood show and star. Guest stars include Elizabeth Perkins of Weeds as Christine Rapp and Rena Sofer of 24 and Heroes as Kim Kelly, Christine Rapp's assistant.

Elizabeth Perkins did a fabulous job as a slightly nutty, past-her-prime (but still gorgeous!) grown up child actress. Since Monk is purposefully not the most intense of crime shows, us fans can sometimes guess at the general conclusion of a case, but I have to say there are always some details and twists I don't expect. For this particular episode, I didn't guess the guilty party at all before it was revealed.

I felt like this episode was extremely strong with its case and fell in line perfectly, if not even better than usual, with the general fun, mystery, and quirkiness of Monk episodes.

Recently I got to join in a Q&A with our dear Adrian Monk himself, Tony Shalhoub, and especially after seeing this first episode, I heartily agree with his statement during the Q&A that they wanted to make sure to go out strong instead of carrying on until they petered out with weak rating and storylines.

I hadn't thought much about it before hearing this would be the final season, but I'm very glad that Monk is a show that planned its ending unlike the unlucky shows canceled without much warning.

While Monk is a formulaic "case of the week" show without a ton storyline development for the characters from week to week, Monk is a show that needs and deserves a proper ending not only because it's been around so long, but also because we've been waiting for 7 seasons now for some resolution to Trudy's murder!

And yes, also as Shalhoub said in the Q&A, Season 8 does promise to have Monk solve the murder, so that's certainly something I'm looking forward to. I don't think it has to be the largest revelation ever, but I think it is important that Monk gets some resolution and peace for himself so we can know he's finally moving on and will hopefully move into his fictional future a happier, more functional man.

Not only is there all of that to look forward to this season, but there's also an excellent line of guest stars for the rest of the season! Guest stars appearances include Jay Mohr, Dylan Baker, Meat Loaf, Bernie Kopell, Daniel Stern, Alex Wolff, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Eric Balfour, Kelly Carlson, and Reed Diamond. There will also be some special appearances by Tim Bagley returning as Monk's nemesis Harold Krenshaw and Bitty Schram, known to long-time Monk fans as Sharona Fleming.

With all that awesomeness going on, don't forget to tune in for the kick off of Monk's final season this Friday, August 7th at 9/8c on USA Network!

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